Tonight’s post-Extreme Rules edition of WWE SmackDown on FOX will air live from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland with Night 1 of the WWE Draft.
Multiple sources have reported that WWE NXT will be a part of the WWE Draft, which kicks off tonight during SmackDown from Baltimore, and then wraps with Monday’s RAW from Nashville.
It was noted by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that as of several days before the Draft, besides the top picks that FOX and the USA Network require, plans for the various picks were not set in stone, but that NXT looks to be a big part of the plans.
People in WWE were said to be under the impression that Xia Li, Dakota Kai and Aliyah are the leading candidates among the female NXT Superstars. These names have been rumored for main roster call-ups for months now, and have been working main roster dark matches.
Regarding Li, it was noted that WWE wants a legitimate Chinese star in the market after the success UFC had when Zhang Weili held the Women’s Strawweight World Title, which she lost back in April.
WWE previously indicated that WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley would not be eligible for the Draft, but that’s not necessarily the case. WWE’s official preview for tonight’s SmackDown included the following on the Draft:
“Which Superstars are about to make the jump from Raw to SmackDown? Who is heading from Friday night to Monday night? No titleholder’s place is safe! No tag team guaranteed to stay together! The only thing certain is that nothing will stay the same!”